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SOUND OF METAL

"Slightly Redemptive but Marred"

Quality:
Content: -2 Discretion advised for adults.
NoneLightModerateHeavy
Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

What You Need To Know:

SOUND OF METAL is a drama about a heavy metal drummer whose life is thrown into turmoil when he starts losing his hearing. A doctor tells him his hearing will be gone forever if he keeps drumming. The doctor tells Ruben that hearing implants are very expensive, and there’s no guarantee how well they will work. Reluctantly, Ruben, a heroin addict who’s been sober for four years, leaves his girlfriend, the lead singer in his band, and signs up to stay at a deaf home for addicts in the country. The home is affiliated with a church. Ruben eventually gets into the swing of things and seems to be accepted. However, he’s still considering getting the implants and returning to his previous life.  

SOUND OF METAL is well acted, but a little slow. As Ruben, Riz Ahmed delivers a fine performance. Also, the movie has a light Christian, moral worldview. However, the ending is too open ended. The movie’s plot and messages could be stronger and more satisfying. SOUND OF METAL contains many gratuitous “f” words and brief images of an explicit nude drawing.

Content:

(C, B, PC, H, Ho, LLL, V, S, NNN, AA, DD, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Light Christian, moral worldview about a heavy metal drummer who finds he’s going deaf and starts living at a Christian-oriented home and school for the deaf (especially those recovering from an addiction), includes one scene showing an apparent prayer in sign language where a group stands in a room with a Cross on the wall, the head of the home tells the drummer that the Kingdom of God can be found in the silences, a positive and touching view of the deaf community, and the head of the home notes that they will help people who aren’t religious, but the home has a light politically correct belief that being deaf is not a handicap, so they don’t really cater to any deaf people who want to get any kind of a hearing implant for their deaf affliction, and the protagonist starts off as not religious but by the end of the movie he sits in silence as if he’s finally agreeing with the head of the deaf home and school about the Kingdom of God, but the ending is a little ambiguous and open ended, plus it’s implied that a side character is a lesbian

Foul Language:
About 68 obscenities, one Jesus profanity and one light OMG profanity

Violence:
Some violence in one scene where angry musician has an angry fit, throwing objects and yelling because he’s going totally deaf

Sex:
Implied fornication and couple wakes up in bed together and are living in an RV together

Nudity:
Man draws a fully nude woman for a tattoo that a deaf woman wants in one scene, and images of upper male nudity in other scenes

Alcohol Use:
No alcohol use, but man says he’s a recovering alcoholic

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
Smoking, and a protagonist and another man mention that they were addicted to heroin; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Protagonist has tattoos (including one on his chest saying “Please kill me”), and protagonist hides his attempt to follow his band’s progress on the Internet and get hearing implants from the deaf man running the place where he’s staying, which are against the rules.

More Detail:

SOUND OF METAL is a drama about a heavy metal drummer whose life is thrown into turmoil when he starts losing his hearing. Now available on Amazon Prime, SOUND OF METAL is well acted, with a light Christian, moral worldview, but the plot and the positive messages could be stronger, and the movie contains many “f” words and brief images of an explicit nude drawing in one scene.

The movie begins with the drummer, Ruben, performing a heavy metal song with his girlfriend Louise, also called Lulu or Lou, in their band. The couple tour together in an RV that Ruben owns. Ruben soon discovers he’s starting to lose his hearing. A doctor tells him his hearing will be gone forever if he keeps drumming. The doctor tells Ruben that hearing implants are very expensive, and there’s no guarantee how well they will work.

Reluctantly, Ruben, a heroin addict who’s been sober for four years, signs up to stay at a deaf home for addicts that’s affiliated with a church. The home’s Christian director, a deaf alcoholic named Joe who lost his hearing in Vietnam, tells Ruben he can’t have any contact with the outside world and must get used to the idea of always being deaf. Joe established the home with the belief that being deaf is not a handicapped and should not be fixed.

Ruben eventually gets into the swing of things and seems to be accepted and loved. In fact, Joe offers to give Ruben a job at the deaf home and the elementary school attached to the home. However, Ruben still misses Louise and the life he once know. So, Ruben must now choose whether to accept the job or return to his former life.

SOUND OF METAL is well acted, but a little slow. As Ruben, Riz Ahmed delivers a fine performance. Also, the movie has a light Christian, moral worldview. In one scene, a cross is shown on the wall of a room wherein a group of deaf people appear to be using sign language to pray. Also, at one point, Joe tells Ruben that he finds that silent moments are the best moments to find the “Kingdom of God.” Later in the movie, Ruben has rejected Joe’s belief that being deaf is not a handicap that should be fixed. However, toward the end, there’s an important scene where Ruben just sits in silence watching the world around him.

That said, the movie’s ending is a bit ambiguous and too open ended. So, the movie’s plot and messages could be stronger and more satisfying. SOUND OF METAL also contains many gratuitous “f” words and brief images of an explicit nude drawing in one scene. In addition, the movie sides with Joe’s belief that deaf people or people going deaf should never try to get their hearing fixed, a belief that seems a little politically correct and intolerant. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.

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